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News Release

New Planning Grants Reflect Regional Commitment to Support North Bay Fire Recovery

Wild fires burn lands throughout the North Bay
John Goodwin, 415-778-5262
Randy Rentschler, 415-778-6780

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) this spring approved 26 grants totaling $7.3 million to support local plans for higher-density development near transit stations and along high-frequency transit corridors in 17 Bay Area cities. Among the largest is an $800,000 grant to update the existing development plan for the neighborhood surrounding the SMART station in downtown Santa Rosa, where city officials are working to expand housing capacity to accommodate growing demand spurred both by the launch of SMART service and last fall’s North Bay fires.

“MTC recognizes that North Bay communities’ fire-recovery efforts are not just local issues but a regional concern as well,” said MTC Chair and Rohnert Park City Councilmember Jake Mackenzie. “The Commission made fire-affected neighborhoods a priority for both planning grants and for land-acquisition loans funded through the Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing program. MTC also tapped the Transit Emergency Service Contingency Fund for $600,000 after the fires to reimburse SMART, Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa City Bus and other North Bay transit operators for the costs they incurred evacuating residents, running shuttle services and providing free rides.”

In addition to the grant to Santa Rosa to update its Downtown Station Area Specific Plan, MTC also approved an $800,000 grant to Union City to update existing development plans for the Decoto and Industrial Parkway areas, and an $800,000 grant to San Jose to improve intermodal connections in and around the Diridon Station area. Other recipients of planning, staffing assistance or technical assistance grants include Belmont, Concord, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakland, Rohnert Park, San Francisco, San Rafael, Vacaville and Windsor.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.